Episode #88

It’s a Pipeline, Not a Funnel!

If you want to publish more, you should take on more projects, right? Wrong! You need a publication pipeline, not a funnel.


I’m getting up on my soapbox to tell you why your publications need to be in a pipeline, not a funnel! Building a publication plan from a place of fear leads you to take on every possible project, say yes to all opportunities, and focus on numbers rather than your academic mission. Friends, this approach will backfire. Let’s dig into the metaphors of pipeline and funnel, and how to approach your publishing plan to reach your goals.

Funnel vs. Pipeline: What’s the Difference?

Picture a pipeline: the contents flow smoothly, and what goes in comes out the other side at the same volume it entered. 

Now picture a funnel: a whole bunch of something put in the top trickles slowly out the bottom. You might dump more and more into the top, but it still trickles out the bottom at that slow rate.

Using this metaphor, you can see that taking on more and more projects for publication does not, in fact, result in more published work! If you are (understandably) acting from a place of fear, and taking on all the possible projects that enter your sphere, you will create a funnel, not a pipeline. 

“If you take on more projects you will have fewer publications.” -Cathy Mazak

What’s the Solution?

“You must curate your pipeline.” -Cathy Mazak

The answer is careful curation of the projects you choose to put into your pipeline. Your publications are telling the story of who you are as a scholar, to the world and to your tenure committee. What story do you want to tell? You need to be selective, choosing projects that support your academic mission. If you take this approach, you can intentionally oversee your pipeline, and what stage each project is in. The projects you put in will flow smoothly out the other side. Please believe me when I tell you that this approach will not only solidify your academic brand, but result in more publications. 

“Create your publication pipeline from a place of confidence.” -Cathy Mazak

Want to learn more? 

Check out my signature program, Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®, and get on the waitlist for our next cohort.


Connect with me:



Stay current in Academic Publishing

Subscribe to our newsletter:

In the Pipeline

writing tips, publishing trends, reading recomendations, free workshops

In The Pipeline Newsletter

Send me Writer's Retreat updates by email!

Send me Writer's Retreat updates by email!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Your Cheat Sheet!

Get the PDF Cheat Sheet right to your inbox!

Check your email to find your cheat sheet!

Skip to content
We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.